The Addictive Power of Sugar

Did you know that sugar stimulates our brains to release dopamine and serotonin, which literally produces a euphoric effect in our bodies similar to the high one gets from doing cocaine?

WHAT!? That is crazy! Not wonder many people feel they may be addicted to sugar!

And the worst part? Half of the time we don’t even know we are consuming it. Sugar has been cleverly disguised as MANY other names on food labels. Here are some examples:

Agave nectar
Cane Crystals
Corn Syrup (HFCS)
Corn sweetener
Evaporated cane juice
Fruit juice concentrates
Golden syrup
Malt syrup
Raw sugar
Rice syrup
Simple syrup

The worst part? Too much sugar can lead to an array of different side effects and complications, including increased risk of diabetes & heart disease, weight gain, acne, depression, and even cancer.

The average North American only consumes about 25 pounds of vegetables per year, yet they consume about 22 teaspoons of sugar daily. (Many health professionals actually believe this is FAR too small a statistic, and it should be recorded at about 50 teaspoons!)

Holy smokes! That’s the equivalent of my entire body weight in sugar every single year!

Many people attempt to combat their sugar addictions with artificial sweeteners, and I highly recommend NOT doing this. Diet pop, Splenda, chewing gum and many different foods marked “Sugar-free” are laden in a chemical sweetener called ASPARTAME.

I personally choose to avoid aspartame and other chemical sweeteners at all cost. If you just can’t imagine giving up the bubbly fizz of your daily sip of soda, perhaps try a sparkling water with natural flavours instead of reaching for the diet alternative. (Just be sure to check your ingredients for added sweeteners!)

Why am I SO dead set against aspartame as a substitute for sugar? It has 92 potential known side effects in our bodies.

Yes, I said NINETY TWO!

But alas! Sweet addicts unite! There is a natural, plant-based sweetener that is 200X the sweetness of sugar. A tiny bit goes a long way, and I personally believe it is a much better option! My friends, let me introduce you to STEVIA.

Put it in your coffee, use it in baking, or sprinkle it on grapefruit. The flavour isn’t quite the same, but it definitely provides the sweetness we crave without the sharp increase and crash we feel from regular sugar!

While there are also more natural options to sweeten such as honey and maple syrup, all forms of sugar have a similar effect on the body and I recommend enjoying them in moderation.

Do you ever find yourself hooked on sugar? What are some strategies you have found helpful in reducing your sugar intake?

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